By Alexandra Phanor-Faury

IBM's Touchy-Feely Online Shopping

Online shopping has become the fastest and most convenient way to shop. Companies are constantly thinking up new ways to improve online shopping with a big focus on how to better engage and empower customers while tailoring the shopping experience to their personal needs. Despite all the radical changes that have occurred in online retail to improve on and revolutionize the brick and mortar blueprint, the shopping in-person aspect of touching and feeling a product has been impossible to reproduce thus far, or so we thought.

IBM Research envisions that in five years our mobile devices will allow us to touch and feel fabric, textures and weaves right through our screen.

“By matching variable-frequency patterns of vibration to physical objects so, that when a shopper touches what the webpage says is a silk shirt, the screen will emit vibrations that match what our skin mentally translates to the feel of silk.”

“We at IBM Research think that in the next five years that our mobile devices will bring together virtual and real world experiences to not just shop, but feel the surface of produce, and get feedback on data such as freshness or quality.”

How freaking cool is this?!? This will help alleviate the one annoying aspect of online shopping we’ve all had to deal with at one time or another. You see a great jacket, shirt or pants, order it and when it arrives in the mail the fabric leaves much to be desired. This touchy-feely “The Jetson” future of online shopping is looking very bright.

Check out this IBM Research video to learn more:

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Alexandra Phanor-Faury
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Alexandra Phanor-Faury

Alexandra Phanor-Faury is a married, Haitian-American journalist living in Brooklyn, NY. Alexandra has reported and written about music, fashion, art and celebrities for websites and publications such as i-D, Nylon & NylonGuy, People Magazine & People.com, Courrier International, BlackBook.com, Trace, Giant, Teen Vogue, Page Six Magazine and Bloomingdales’ Little Brown Book.
Alexandra Phanor-Faury
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